Selah March

March 8, 2006

More than you ever wanted to know about me and my views on abortion…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Selah March @ 11:35 am
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If I had an agent, she or he would likely want to kill me after today.

First, a little background info. I was raised in a conventionally conservative manner. The adults in my family believed in God, practiced those of the Ten Commandments that didn’t cramp their style too badly, attended church when it was convenient, and voted a straight Republican ticket, because the Democrats were the root of all evil, beginning with FDR and his goddammned Welfare State.

As a girl, I was taught to value my virginity above all else — the prize I was to bestow upon a worthy young man of proper ethnic background and earning potential (a doctor would be best). Sex, when discussed in the most clinical terms and in hurried whispers, was a necessary evil to be avoided at all costs until the production of children was desired. I suppose I should be grateful it was discussed at all.

I watched fully one-third of the girls in my high school graduating class go on to become single mothers before they reached the age of 25. (If that sounds amazing, keep in mind that there were only 40 students in my senior class.) The rudiments of safe sex were not explained — not at home, and not in school, though the state mandated it. The state has a funny way of not checking up on shit like that. (Lest you think I’m discussing some long-ago, shadowy period of the past, I graduated high school in 1984.)

I dodged that particular bullet, by the grace of God and the religious use of condoms, and because I wanted OUT and knew that I’d be trapped if I allowed myself to get pregnant. At the time, I was against abortion for myself and anyone else. So though I rebelled and lost my prized virginity early, I did manage to escape the fate of many of my childhood playmates. I went on to college and — savoring the irony with every step — married the doctor about whom my mother always dreamed.

And along the way, I grew into the bleeding heart liberal I am today, mostly by watching how poverty, ignorance, bigotry, misogyny, lack of education, and hypocrisy ruined an entire generation of my hometown peers.

When I was fifteen, I couldn’t imagine the circumstances that would lead me to terminate a pregnancy. At forty, having borne two children and raised three from infancy, the only circumstance I can imagine that would lead me to terminate a pregnancy would be imminent threat to my own life, and only because my “already on the ground” kids still need me.

And that is MY CHOICE. At fifteen, I assumed that what was good for me was good for every other woman on the planet. At forty, I’ve come to understand that no one has the right to make a life-altering choice for another — no individual, and no lawmaker.

I would like to see abortion remain safe and legal and become extremely rare. So would every other pro-choice person with whom I’ve ever discussed the subject. Nobody throws parties when a pregnancy is terminated, no matter what the propagandists tell you about the back rooms of Planned Parenthood.

If this country valued education and the lives of women and children as much as it values money and material objects — PRACTICED the “family values” it so readily PREACHES on a daily basis — twelve-year-olds wouldn’t be getting pregnant in the back seats of school buses. Every single time an “abstinence only” sex education bill passes somewhere, another crop of unwanted pregnancies WILL spring up. The kids joining the virginity clubs, vowing to wait until marriage for sex? Are twice as likely to have unprotected sex when they break that vow. And every time the current administration pushes through another bill that cuts taxes for the wealthiest one percent of Americans while cutting healthcare for the poorest among us, somebody else is going without safe and effective birth control.

You want to cut down on abortions in the United States?

UNIVERSAL, HIGH-QUALITY HEALTHCARE.

REALISTIC, AGE-APPROPRIATE SEX EDUCATION, BEGINNING IN GRADE SCHOOL.

A BILL THAT FORCES INSURANCE COMPANIES — MANY OF WHICH COVER VIAGRA AND PENILE-ENLARGEMENT SURGERY — TO COVER BIRTH CONTROL.

TAX-FREE CONTRACEPTION.

These aren’t radical ideas…unless, of course, you balk at the idea of paying taxes to keep somebody else’s kids healthy and educated. In which case, maybe you should you use the time you spend bitching about the high abortion rate to check out where your tax dollars ARE currently going. Here. Here. Here. And here.

And when you’re done looking at that? Check out this post at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.

Here’s my linkage donation to the cause: Bill Napoli.

Because apparently only the obvious trauma to an unmarried, religious “girl” who intended to save her virginity for her husband merits the termination of an unwanted pregnancy conceived through rape. (And then, only if the rape is particularly brutal and involves sodomy.)

The rest of us sluts can just shut up and deal.

1 Comment »

  1. Brava, Selah for stating an intelligent opinion. My thoughts run paralell. At 15 everything was black and white, at nearly 40 everything is gray but I know I can’t make decisions for anyone else.

    Comment by Bernadette Gardner and Jennifer Colgan — April 11, 2006 @ 5:30 pm | Reply


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